An ode to Indian cinema’s first female superstar - Sridevi

An ode to Indian cinema’s first female superstar - Sridevi
Highlights

Sridevi - a name phenomenal in the Indian film industry has left a huge void with her sudden demise. The actress, who died of cardiac arrest in Dubai on Saturday night has left the entire country grieving in shock. 

Sridevi - a name phenomenal in the Indian film industry has left a huge void with her sudden demise. The actress, who died of cardiac arrest in Dubai on Saturday night has left the entire country grieving in shock.

Having ruled the commercial cinema space in the 80s and 90s, Sridevi’s impressive career spanned five decades and reversed the trend of an industry dominated by male superstars by becoming Bollywood's first female superstar.

The star actress appeared in a string of blockbuster hit films, including Chandni, Mr India, Sadma, Mawali and Tohfa.

Also, she proved her sheer acting prowess across languages, from Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi films.

Born Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Sridevi dropped out of school for a career in the movies.

Sridevi started her career as a child artist at the age 4 and made her debut with M A Thirumugham's 'Thunaivan’.

Creating a niche for herself in the South film industry, she established herself as a leading heroine with movies such as '16 Vayathinile', 'Sigappu Rojakkal', 'Meendum Kokila' and 'Moondram Pirai'.

While she made her Bollywood debut as a child artiste in 1975 hit 'Julie’, her stint as an adult Bollywood star began with Solva Sawan in 1979 which is a remake of his Tamil super hit '16 Vayadhinille’. Unfortunately, with the movie failing to make a mark as the original, she was written out of the Hindi cinema for the next four years until Sridevi was re-launched in Himmatwala in 1983 which became one of the biggest blockbusters of the year and made people take notice.

The same year, she starred in the remake of another Tamil superhit, Balu Mahendra's 'Sadma', opposite Kamal Haasan, where she conquered the hearts of the audience by playing the challenging role of a child-woman suffering from amnesia.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, she charmed audiences in films such as Chandni and Lamhe, drawing acclaim for her comic timing in Chaalbaaz and Shekhar Kapur's Mr India, cementing her place as one of Bollywood's top actresses.

Particularly, her talented Charlie Chaplin sequence and the dance number 'Hawa Hawaii', earned the actress a huge fanbase.

She stopped acting for several years after marrying film producer Boney Kapoor but made a successful return in 2012 with Gauri Shinde's English Vinglish, a movie about a middle-aged woman learning English.

Sridevi won five Filmfare Awards and was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour by the government of India in 2013.

Her last screen appearance was in the 2017-film Mom, which was her 300th movie. Sridevi was the only actor in the country with a substantially pan-Indian list of work.

While fans expected more to come in her career, her remarkable journey has come to an end.

As an actor who has inspired generations and set an example that heroines were no longer just arm candy, Sridevi Kapoor has definitely left a distinctive mark on the soul of the country.

The actor's elder daughter Janhvi is heading to kick-start her own cinematic journey with 'Dhadak', a remake of the Marathi blockbuster 'Sairat'.

More pics: Legendary Actress Sridevi Old Memories

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